FITNESS: Stay True to Your New Year’s Fitness Resolutions
BY CATHERINE WILDE
For those committed individuals who make New Year’s resolutions, sticking to them is sometimes quite the challenge, especially if it comes to a new routine that involves diet and exercise in an attempt to trim the tummy.
After the holidays, the tempting treats that were too good to turn down are a distant memory, often only evident in the newly snug pants and now-too-tight tops that you put on after the days of indulgence have passed.
In sticking to New Year’s resolutions, it is important to remember your goals and find a way to accommodate your new healthy lifestyle in your schedule in a way that is realistic to maintain.
Sometimes it helps to let the experts “weigh in” — pun intended.
Senior Program Director at the East Area YMCA, Jason Patti, says the Y offers ongoing fitness classes that also incorporate lifestyle discussions to help people stick to their commitments. Patti said people often burn themselves out because they go “gung-ho” about a plan to lose weight for the first few weeks of the new year. The YMCA offers a nutritionist and wellness coaches who ensure people do everything in moderation, the key to success.
Once a new routine becomes part of one’s lifestyle, it is not a chore to stick to but rather just part of your everyday schedule.
The “Move it to lose it” program is free to members and people can join anytime. There are also similar program offerings for teens and adolescents, with the goal of making exercise and fitness fun and part of one’s lifestyle, Patti said.
Like with any lifestyle decision, the key is to make your change in habits the new normal. Make getting up early for a workout part of a daily routine so that it is something you will not want to miss. Or make family sit-down dinners and breakfasts become a routine in the household, encouraging healthy eating over on-the-go meals.
Jessica DesRosiers, senior healthy living director at the Downtown YMCA, says the center offers a “Biggest Winner” program for people set on losing weight. The 12-week challenge helps participants lose weight in a supportive and competitive environment through weekly workouts and meetings with trainers.
DesRosiers says the key to losing weight and sticking to a new regime is to find something you like to do.
“If you don’t enjoy it you won’t do it. Find a program or class or exercise you like and stick with it,” DesRosiers said.
Using a “buddy system” also works, she said.
“If you know your friend is going to meet you at five o’clock for that Zumba class then you’re more apt to go,” she said.
DesRosiers said the YMCA sees an increase in membership in the beginning of the year but there is about a seven-week window and then members drop off. She says to counter that, people can get involved in a wide variety of programs that are offered at the YMCA, whether it be the pool or family programs. For those who choose to undergo a fitness plan independent of a gym or other structured environment, the same tips can apply: find something you like to do and try to find a way to fit it into your schedule so that it becomes a regular routine.
Try to set realistic goals so you don’t get discouraged. If you absolutely adore a chocolate dessert every now and then, just cut back on how often you indulge rather than eliminating them completely.
And don’t let a weight loss or fitness goal stop you from enjoying the holidays! A sweet or two won’t hurt, since the key in all things is moderation.
Catherine Wilde is a 30-something professional and regular Syracuse Woman Magazine contributor who competes in local triathlons and open swim competitions. She’s an avid runner, cyclist and swimmer.